Metroid: Samus Returns Preview
Nintendo chose to hold this secret close to its chest and didn’t showcase it in their E3 Spotlight presentation. Instead, about 30 minutes later Reggie joined Treehouse Live to make a special announcement that a new game would be coming to the 3DS this year. I could barely believe my eyes when I saw a Metroid floating around the screen!
Called Metroid: Samus Returns, this is a complete overhaul of Metroid II: Return of Samus, which appeared way back in 1991 on the original black & white Game Boy. I owned this game as a kid growing up, and it must be remembered that it came out before Super Metroid did. It didn’t feature a lot of the control enhancements, mapping, and other cool features that later games would introduce to the series. All of that is being rectified with this reimagining.
The core story and idea remain the same: drop down to the alien planet SR388 and exterminate the 40 Metroids that have taken hold. The game utilizes both of the 3DS screens, which helps eliminate UI clutter on the top screen, and also gives the player a handy dandy map on the bottom. The game will take advantage of the 3DS stereoscopic 3D to give depth to the game’s world. Speaking of, man this game looks pretty gorgeous for a 3DS game. Would I have preferred to see it on the Switch? Of course – I would love it if all games came to the Switch, but I can’t complain because I’ve been wanting this remake for a very, very long time. The original Game Boy did not do this title justice and now I’ll finally get to play a version of it that doesn’t make my eyes bleed.
Metroid: Samus Returns also utilizes the Zero Suit Samus and Smash Bros. Samus amiibo figures, but Nintendo hasn’t specified to what end. Also launching alongside the game is a 2-pack of amiibo, containing Samus and a Metroid (which is squishy!). This set of amiibo looks amazing and will be a must-have for true fans of the series. There will also be a limited edition of the game available at launch for $49.99 and it comes packed with a 25-track CD with music from across the Metroid universe, and a reversible cover for the game case.
In the Treehouse segment today, they played quite a bit of the early part of the game. It looks fantastic and there are a ton of additions to the gameplay. Samus now has a melee counter, which means if you time your button press just right, she will block an incoming attack, leaving the enemy open for her to get some licks in. There’s also a new energy bar called Aeion that can be used to power special abilities. One of them they showed off was called the Scan Pulse. This allows Samus to emit an energy wave that will fill in a small part of her map and also reveal blocks that can be broken in the nearby area. The powers can’t be used if the bar is depleted, so you won’t be able to just spam these specials over and over again.
I couldn’t be happier that Metroid: Samus Returns has been announced. It’s coming out for the 3DS on September 15, 2017 and is being developed by MercurySteam, the same company who made Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. Who would have thought this E3 would be the one where not one, but two Metroid games were announced? Sure, we have no clue when Metroid Prime 4 is coming to the Switch, but with this 3DS game just around the corner, I haven’t got any complaints.
Craig has been covering the video game industry since 1995. His work has been published across a wide spectrum of media sites. He’s currently the Editor-In-Chief of Nintendo Times and contributes to Gaming Age.